Saturday, March 3, 2012

The most difficult weeks of my life.

(This post was written 3 weeks ago).  It has been 7 weeks since Sage was born.  Seven of the darkest most difficult weeks of my life.  Don't get me wrong, Sage is simply the best thing ever to have happened - to have arrived in my life, but I never thought I would be taxed and tested in ways like this.

After Sage flew out of me in the hospital, I was in shock - immense, engrossing, fulfilling happiness, and shock.  Shock that she had arrived so easily, that she was so beautiful, that I loved her so intensely, shocked that she was So perfect.  I could not believe my good fortune.  While Sage slept I stared at her in awe and gratitude.

While Sage slept, endless nurses and tecks came to visit, a whole whirlwind of life I could have done without seemed to envelop me.  Firstly I found I could not pee - and spent hours trying to - only just avoiding being catheterized.  I won't mention either the stool softener which seemed to make my anus as tight as a ball of fire!

Then there was the argument which seemed to involve half the hospital staff (I exaggerate of course) but it did include the hospital administrator - because I had declined a number of the routine procedures for baby (such as erithromiacin in the eyes - and the hep B vaccine etc).  At one point they decided they would go ahead without my consent - until that is - my hard headed doula spoke up for me.  She reminded them that I had all my paperwork in order - and of course they could go ahead against my wishes, but that there would naturally be legal consequences!  It was then that I realized why it had been the right thing to hire her.

Breastfeeding did not come easily.  A nurse told me she had the perfect latch.  When Sage came off the nipple I had two big blisters - that are still evident today.  Eventually someone suggested I use a pump.  This was when I met the lovely nurse who looked to be about 8 months pregnant - with a baby which she later told me was to be born dead.  I heard her whole story - I felt so guilty to have such a perfect baby, and know that hers would not make it.

Between stuffing down vast quantities of the absolutely fabulous food they served at my hospital, and staring at my baby, I realized it was nearly time to be discharged and I had still not slept.  In fact I didn't sleep for 5 more days.  It took a trip to the emergency room, where I was badly treated, because for some reason they thought I was a suicide case - or that I might have harmed the baby.  I was not allowed to use the bathroom - or drink any water.  People treated me like I was crazy - In fact I was.  By the time I was discharged I was so dehydrated and tired I couldn't recognize my friend who had come to pick me up - or give directions to my house - which is only a matter of minutes away.

Later we found out I had a severe case of thrush - baby too.  Somehow everything seemed to go wrong.  I got home and had to call people out for the washing machine, garbage disposal, replace the boiler, car etc.  The lovely colleague who was staying with me to help - who I have known for years , and absolutely love - turned out to have what I could only describe as early stage alzheimers.  She was No help at all.

Suddenly because of the thrush, I lost my taste - nothing tasted good.  It was three prescriptions before they managed to give me the right drug.  My nipples were So painful - and it was days before someone  suggested I could have a bra to hold the milking apparatus.

Later I would have to battle through more insomnia, and resultant confusion, psychosis, paranoia - and we won't forget a horrendous week of mastitis.  I will make a special post about mastitis later.  As I am writing this now I realize I don't want to remember how awful things were.  And sadly I actually don't remember a lot of the wonderful and amazing people who came to visit me and deliver tremendous kindness and gorgeous gifts during this time.  I think I should wait till a time this nightmare is further away - in a past that can never come back to remember to recount exactly what happened.